Religious worship at Taishan goes back thousands of years. It is a sacred Taoist mountain that was visited by emperors who came to pray for, and make sacrifices for, a good harvest. Like Hangzhou and Suzhou, Taishan is a place where poets, writers, artists and musicians come for inspiration.
Although there is a cable car to take visitors up to, and down from, the summit, pilgrims and strong travelers make the hike up the 7,200 stairs. Most of our group took the stairs. I was constantly humbled as elderly pilgrims and men carrying dozens of bottles of beer passed me.
We spent the night on the mountain which was a very cool experience. We woke for sunrise. Regardless of the weather, the sunrise is pretty spectacular on Taishan because the summit is above the cloud line. Even if the sun is invisible, the clouds below are magnificent.